July 11th, 2008
01:39 PM ET

Has Jesse Jackson become irrelevant?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Jesse Jackson got away with calling New York "Hymietown" a few years ago, a reference to New York's Jewish population. But this time he might not be so fortunate.

Jackson saying he wanted to castrate Barack Obama for "talking down to black people" may mark the end of Jesse Jackson's relevance to anything. His comments – which were caught on an open microphone in a television studio – were in response to Obama's speeches about the responsibilities of absent black fathers.

Jackson apologized, saying he meant there are other important issues to address in the black community – like unemployment and the number of blacks in prison.

But it turns out Jackson's vulgar comments could actually help Obama, with white voters who wonder if he shares their values – remember the Reverend Jeremiah Wright? – and with blacks who see Jackson as a figure of the past. Barack Obama is proving to Jesse Jackson as well as everyone else that it's not necessary to play the black and white races off against each other, something Jackson has done his whole life.

Charles Hurt of the New York Post this morning wrote that Jackson knew exactly what he was doing when he made these vulgar comments.

Hurt suggests that the real reason Jackson is unhappy is that "Obama has shown that unifying and uplifting campaigns succeed in American politics where the divisive failed campaigns waged by Jackson become history's footnotes."

Finally consider this: Obama's telling a black church that a father's responsibility doesn't just end at conception may have hit too close to home for Jesse Jackson. After all, it was only a few years ago that Jesse Jackson acknowledged an extra-marital affair that produced a baby born out of wedlock.

Here’s my question to you: Has Jesse Jackson become irrelevant?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mark writes:
I believe one of the big reasons that Barack Obama has had success, unlike Jackson or Sharpton, is because Obama does not have the hatred that these two so often demonstrate. Much like Reverend Wright, these guys are old-school, and do not reflect the opinions of most who believe more change can be achieved without the hate.

Michaela writes:
Jack, You're in the news business. You and your colleagues make Jesse Jackson relevant by sticking a camera in front of his face every time he makes a ridiculous or poetic utterance and by seeking comment and opinion from him on all matters large and small. That you would even ask the question is alarming.

Alise writes:
Jack, Jesse is not irrelevant. If it were not for Jesse Jackson and the civil right soldiers, there would be no Obama. What Jesse Jackson is … is out-of-touch with technology and he got busted for making that comment. He should have been more careful - that is it! What happened is he got caught saying out loud what some African-Americans may feel.

Tom from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida writes:
Jack, Jesse lost his stripes after the birth of his last child outside his marriage. He should be selling tennis shoes at the mall.

Sandra from Texas writes:
Yes, to an extent. Jesse Jackson faces the same situation as Bill Clinton. "The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans." The problem with Jesse and Bill is that they did not pass the torch; Obama took it from them.

Mac from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida writes:
I don't ever recall him being actually relevant, just "in your face" about anything he could dream up to bitch about. What a loser!

Renee in Aurora, Illinois writes:
He is nothing more than a has-been and thankfully never will be again. It's time the media stopped giving him attention, and move on. There's nothing left at the end of his rainbow.

Filed under: Jesse Jackson
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Dave in Saint Louis

    Jesse who?

    July 11, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  2. Bert, Iowa City, IA

    Perhaps the word irreverent would be more suitable.

    July 11, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  3. Michael Smith, New Orleans

    Yes Jack, Rev. Jackson's mouth finally got the best of him. Instead of fighting for civil rights, he has fueled far more fires than he ever put out. In both his personal and professional life, Rev. Jackson has acted hypocritically. When he quipped on a hot mic that he would like to castrate the first Afro-American presidential nominee, he essentially cut off his own. Bye Jesse.

    July 11, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  4. Terry, Dallas Texas

    Jesse Jackson is very much aware of the struggles facing the minority community. He has and continues to live through it. His comments this week were absolutely absurd. He personally may not be irrelevant, but his words this week makes him less respected.

    July 11, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  5. jim kanous ny

    very much so... and can you imagine the uproar he would be making if someone... anyone... made the same comment about him?

    July 11, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  6. Dave in Astoria

    Jack... It appears Mr. Jackson is from a different generation and is still trying to play to the devisions that used to exist in America. He's "bitter" about being left out. Sad situation, don't you think?

    July 11, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  7. Sharon from Virginia

    Jack, Who is this person???????????????

    July 11, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  8. Karen from Arkansas

    You betcha! He became irrelevant when he and Mr. Sharpton started showing up like vulures at whatever catastrophe had media crews swarming.

    July 11, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  9. Karen-Phoenix

    Yes!!! And so has McCain!!! It's a generational thing! I'm 64 years old and do not want anyone any older than I am taking care of me!!! God made life this way!!! It's time to turn life over to the next generation!!! I DO NOT want OLD experience!! I want something new, young, educated and inovative! My grandkids are smarter than Jackson or McCain!!!

    July 11, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  10. J.D. in NH

    I don't know what to make of Jesse Jackson. Maybe it's sour grapes because he's not the center of the universe anymore. His remarks were disgusting. I expect it from Fox, but not from Jesse.

    July 11, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  11. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    Jesse is redundant. He has been replaced by Obama, which is good. Obama is a fixer. Jesse is a blamer.

    July 11, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  12. Marie Canada

    Jesse Jackson has done a lot to help the disadvantaged among the black community but he is becoming more and more irrelevant as time goes and America pulls itself toward the 21st century.

    Unfortunately people who consider themselves religous icons out of the desperate need for continued recognition tend to evolve more into religous wackos as it seems difficult for them to let go of old prejudices and ideals. This would apply to both the white and black religous nuts.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  13. Ed Reed

    Not at all. He feeds the 24/7 cable-news-cycle demand for meaningless and distracting stories when Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan are lying low.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    July 11, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  14. Shannon Wadding, St. Paul, MN

    If defining Rev. Jackson as irrelevant–Having no bearing on or connection with the subject at issue, then we should ask ourselves why America is concerned about anything he says unless he wants to strike a nerve to bring the focus back to him.

    Just another disgruntled distraction geared to keep stirring up the buckwheat.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  15. Hugo Blanco

    Not irrelevant but US social history has certainly moved on. I suggest he retire to greener pastures and perhaps create a blog. And, remember Jack, if we live long enough we'll all get to the point where we rant and rave.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  16. Michelle- Washington, DC

    I don't think it's fair to say that someone of Rev. Jackson's long standing reputation in the black commmunity has become irrelevant because of some remarks he made. If he were really so irrelevant, why would he have apologized?

    July 11, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  17. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    I don't think he's irrelevant. He's done and continues to do a lot of good work BUT his approach to change is no longer valid. Obama wants us all to stand up and take responsibility for what needs to be done in this country and in our own lives no matter who we are. It's not the government that needs to change. It's us. That's why it's "Yes WE can" not "Yes I can".

    July 11, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  18. Linda in Florida

    I mostly agree with Mike, from New Orleans. However, Jesse Jackson did contribute a lot to the civil rights movement. Unfortunately, he feels that made him presidential material and it did not. I would like to know why Al Sharpton is not all over the news condemning Jesse for what he said, as he would anyone else who would have said such an ugly thing.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  19. Len Albuq New Mexico

    Yep, By the posts here I would say Absolutely. Topic Closed.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  20. Gigi in Alabama

    I have never found the man to be rellevant. He may have been associated with Dr. King, but his way of talking is as far from Dr. King as George Bush is from Franklin Roosevelt. King and Roosevelt were great men . . . Jackson and Bush are just wannabes.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  21. James from Virginia

    of course he has. he either does not know it or does not care to acknowledge it.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  22. Allen L Wenger

    I don't think so. Irrelovant people do not get this much attention when they whisper something.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  23. John in Atlanta

    Absolutely. Jesse is no longer the Shadow Senator, Presidential candidate, nor is he the torchbearer for keeping hope alive. Hope has arrived in Sen. Obama, and just in the nick of time. Jesse was running out of entertaining euphanisms.... OBAMA/CAFFERTY '08, has a ring to it...

    July 11, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  24. AndyZ Fairfax, VA

    Irreverent yes. Irrelevant not yet.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  25. Mike Nunn - Hot Springs, Ar.

    Was Jesse ever relevant? He is acting like a little boy who did not get what he wanted.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  26. Keith - Ohio

    I'll say he's irrelevent, irreverent, AND he's an oxymoron when you combine his name with "The Reverend".

    If he says THIS about Obama, his church must REALLY be tough on Satan.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  27. Debbie,NJ

    Yes he is in reference to this election. Personally I am tired of CNN and the other news media spending so much time on irrelevant issues. Ok someone says or does something in reference to one of the candidates. Do you have to talk about it day and night for weeks until somebody else says or does something? News reporting on TV has become tabloid. Where is the real news?

    July 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  28. joan ont.ca

    Jesse Jackson just wants attention. He will do or say anything just to get his kisser on TV. He is not a bad person. We need to remember the good he has done. I am trying to be more like Barack seeking the good in people. Inspire and help all.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  29. Bodo in Ann Arbor

    Jackson thinks the morals of Black people are exclusive territory of Black churches. But Obama wants to be President of ALL Americans, and a President must be a person respected by all, who sets an example for all. Of course there has been no such a person in the White House for 16 years.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  30. Susan- Dallas Texas

    Is a Sony Betamax??? How about a rotary phone?? I'm a 46 year old Black woman and I would say that he's DONE and DONE!!!!

    July 11, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  31. Maggie Muggins

    Unfortunately the recent history of the U.S. has created some hard feelings amongst both black and white. Fortunately a large segment of the American population has survived the past without being scarred for life.

    The Jesse Jacksons' of the world still cling to the bad old days and harbour ill feelings, that time just can't erase, with no real hope for reconciliation.

    You also have to recognize Jesse isn't the only religous zealot who practices regressive tactics as there are large numbers of the so called moral majority who still advocate bigotry and hate towards their fellow man.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  32. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Jesse doesn't seem to want to let go of the "torch", but I'm afraid Obama has already snatched it from his grip and is running with it. Jesse did a lot of good in his time, but now its time for a new generation to take us into the future. Thanks for all you've done Jesse, now please step aside.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  33. mk, sc

    Jesse Jackson has been spiraling to irrelevancey for sometime now. His angry words haven't motivated people towards change in decades. His ill-chosen words about Obama is just another big bump down to the basement.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  34. Mike from Clayton, CA

    Clearly. The race card can't be played the way it used to be, simply because times have changed. The Reverend knows it and he doth protest too much.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  35. Mark from Yuba City, CA


    He's beyond that. By his own words and actions he's rendered himself "worthless" and irrelevant. I think interviewing him will be a ridiculous and mindless pursuit for journalists.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  36. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    As long as you media people keep giving him a seat at the table; expect more of the same tired old rubbish from him. Jackson's rambling "apology" was simply another chance for him to bask in the media spotlight and nothing more. He should retire and enjoy his family wherever they may be.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  37. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    Jesse Jackson will never become irrelevant but his son and Barack Obama will be irrelevant soon. They are just the latest in a string in neo-yuppies. If Barack Obama is becoming irrelevant with those who supported him. Now, he is showing his true conservative colors and Dems are not happy. Are the super delegates listening? Jesse Jackson is up there with MLK and Obama can only aspire to be in their league. The difference? Obama has no empathy for the poor and the middle class.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  38. Richard Green

    Jack, I'm sure there was a time when he was relevant. That time has passed. He seems to be an attention chaser like that other guy...Al Sharpton. They're both a waste of air time.

    Richard Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  39. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I don't think Jesse Jackson has become irrelevant as much as people just want him to shut up until he's needed again.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  40. Vinnie Vino

    He definitely has become yesterday's news of a less important voice in the African American community. At this stage of the race it's time for him to shut his mouth and fade away to help Obama win the Presidency...

    C.I., New York

    July 11, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  41. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Unfortunately, no he has not with a lot of the black people. Just like some of the other so called leaders in civil rights, they fail to walk the walk as they are only good at stirring the pot and talking the talk. We need more leaders that lead by example and not tell people what they should or shouldn't do but suggest people take responsibility for themselves and accept that blaming others is not the answer.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  42. Jerry Roselle, Illinois

    Just a note to Jesse Jackson, there is a new sheriff in town for
    the black voices, and it ain't you or Al sharpton. Both of them should
    have the word " Rev" removed from the front of their names.
    Those who roll in the mud on Fox News get dirty!

    July 11, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  43. P. Henry, Ft. Myers

    He is not relevant in his time.

    The history books may look favorably upon him if he can abstain from the licentious behavior and remember to make candid comments only in absolute privacy.
    He has been a rebel and warrior for his race and one may battles in their honor.

    He has missed opportunities for mass public acceptance because of his continuous waltzes with radical individuals and movements that aren't acceptable by the mainstream.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  44. John in San Diego

    Jack, Jesse Jackson is not going to have any impact on how voters – black or white – vote, so I guess that does make him irrelevant. What Jackson's comments have done, however, is make it clear to all voters that Obama is not merely a "black" candidate – at least not in the old-school mold of Jacckson – and that can only help Obama.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  45. Glen in Laurel, MD


    Fame equals royalty in this culture, and that's for life. I tend to think he'll produce sound bites for years to come. How seriously they will be taken is another matter.

    That being said I like to think that almost anyone can redeem him- or herself, whether entirely or in part. It may be unlikely in the Reverend's case but let's not preclude the possibility. We should hesitate do dismiss a human being entirely.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  46. Bennie

    YES! I've always considered him an idiot and the fact that Obama is the first person of colour to be nominated as a candidate for the presidency while his father is not what one would call an "African-American" has upset quite a few African-Americans such as jesse jackson who never even got a foot in.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  47. Rodney- Stafford,VA

    sniff sniff Jack you smell that? I smell a hater

    July 11, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  48. JT in NYC

    I haven't always agreed with Jackson, but I have always applauded his efforts and sincerity. However, this last slip casts an image of him that people, especially the young blacks who support Obama, won't soon forget. After all he has accomplished, it is a shame that this will incident tarnishes him at a time when a black man may very well be the next President. He did help to open the door and I'm glad Obama accepted his apology so gracefully.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  49. Helen

    Yes, Jack , yes and yes. He is a stupid man.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  50. Mike Jones

    It’s time for Jesse and the media to move on. Jesse represents the past and Obama represents the future. This is a new day. Jesse's day has come and gone. As an African American male who was raised by a single mother, I agree with Obama. It is time for all fathers to step up to the plate and take care of their own families. Jesse should know this too. His mother was not married to his father and he to has a child born out of wedlock. Sometimes the truth hurts

    Mike in Kentucky

    July 11, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  51. Anne/Seattle

    Times they are changing and many in Jackson's age group, of any race, seem to need to stay in the past. When Jackson was a leader, he spoke of the fear and anger in the black community that Obama has left behind. Hope and change carry a lot more personal responsibility than people like Jackson care to admit. He has to realize that his message is now irrelevant and that perhaps he is too.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  52. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    If I know Obama, he would be the first to say we are all relevant. If I know human nature, Jackson will work like the devil to redeem himself.

    Tim Hardin said, "Everyone I know well enough to call my friend makes mistakes," friend Jack.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  53. Diane Glasser

    Mr. Jackson is not irrelevant, he is just from another generation time period that has had difficulty transitioning into the Obama idealism. He may be slightly jealous that Senator Obama was able to get the nod and not him. It may take a while for his apology to be accepted by all Obama followers. Diane from PA

    July 11, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  54. Harry

    He is still relevant. When he complains about Obama, it makes me like Obama even more.


    July 11, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  55. Ray, Florida

    Yes Jack!

    Jesse Jackson and other's in his generation are still viewing civil right's as if it was still the 60's and 70's. Obama's generation, as well as the youger generation's, while thankful of the sacrifices of the past, are ready to look to the future. I think Jesse and the other's will still have a roll to play,as long as they realize the future belong's to the generation's to come!

    July 11, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  56. Annie, Atlanta

    His message of entitlement with undertones of hate have always been a turnoff. Then he goes on national tv, on the "F" word network of all places, and bashes Obama. What incredible nerve. Never mind irrelevant, he's obsolete.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  57. Mark K. in Kalamazoo MI

    He'd be more relevant if he got back together with Tito and Marlon, Jermaine and Michael,for a Jackson 5 reunion. None of those guys had good solo careers (except Michael).

    July 11, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  58. Jaime

    I think he has become irrelevant, Jack. When you look at the major issues hitting us today: economic collapse, stagflation, war in Iraq, an act of war against Iran being rubber stamped by a toothless spineless congress, destruction of civil liberties, and Britney Spears, it's clear that the nation's major concerns make Jackson's narrow perspective seem just plain small.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  59. bob, oshawa, canada

    Jack, yes, he has. He refuses to acknowledge that blacks have a responsibility in structuring their own future and need to take advantage of opportunities that play to their aptitudes and skills. They need more positive role models such as Barack Obama rather than listen to the negative messages that portray them as victims with no recourse to better their lives.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  60. T. G. from the virgin islands

    We can't deny that Jesse Jackson has done a lot for the black community in the past. However, ever since he cheated on his wife and had a child by another woman a few years ago, his relevance in the black community is in question. Now, I'm afraid that his comments concerning Barack Obama “talking down to black people” and Jackson wanting to cut off a certain body part could be the final nail in the coffin for him.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  61. bailey

    Jackson is like a lot of old people stuck in the land that time forgot. Maybe he should support John McCain!


    July 11, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  62. Karl in San Francisco, CA

    Yes, his comments were the final nail in his irrelevant, irreverent coffin. He and Al Sharpton have become the icons of the racially split America of the past and Obama is the future of America. All of America. I don't think MLK would agree with Jackson's latest comments either. He was the visionary that Jesse and Al can and will never be.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  63. Rosalynd Florida

    Jackson's commentary is for a a different time and generation. If he want to be seen as an elder statesman from the Civil Rights movement then he needs to stop his bigotted remarks and vulgar language and speak to issues with the politically correct language for today.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  64. Terrance in Hartville, MO

    Jack, let me answer this with a simple YES!

    July 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  65. Jamaal Oakland, CA

    Well untill the other day he was still relevant but now i can Safely say he know longer speaks for the African American Community

    July 11, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  66. Mindy New York

    Jesse Jackson? What has he done that is significant and/or relevant? He just emerges when he wants to claim racism etc. Just like Sharpton. So done with this.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  67. Will from San Jose, CA

    Jackson has spent a lifetime finding ways to get on TV. At what point do we stop putting him at fault and look to the people still pointing cameras in his direction?

    July 11, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  68. Paul from Parry Sound, Ontario

    The torch has been passed from Jackson's generation to Obama. Jackson's castration comment suggests he may see the metaphor as other than a torch, but he'd still like it...er, them...back.

    July 11, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  69. Ade

    Jack, he is still relevant but his comments about Obama is irrelevant to the issues at stake in this election.

    Columbus, Ohio

    July 11, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  70. Ed North Carolina

    I know you guys would have a lot of dead air if it wasn't for all the talking heads constantly giving us their opinions. They are all irrelvant and just stir the pot. The American people can think for themselves. Just give them the facts........................but then what are y'all going to do with all that air time, run infomericas?

    July 11, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  71. Chuck in Eugene Oregon


    Irrelevent? I dont know that I would go quite that far; however, he has become insignificant. You have already pointed out the fact that Obama has proved that unification accompanied with an uplifting message is more powerful than division and name calling. The fact that Mr Jackson's own son called him out on his latest comments only goes to show that America is turning a new page in politics in a very compelling and historical way.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  72. Nick - Cary, North Carolina

    Jesse represents the struggle against racism. Jesse is becoming irrelevant because his message has largely succeded. Barack Obama represents a struggle for betterment for all. Barack's message is far more positive and more applicable to all and obviously resonates with the population at large much better. It is time to move on to a new message.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  73. Tina (Fort Worth)

    I am glad that Jesse is still around keeping things stirred up. Race relations is something that white people try to keep underground. It is time to lay the cards on the table if we are going to proceed. We cannot hide behind the hood of the past anymore. We are fixing to get a black president and I am glad for the change and I am a middle aged white woman. Rock on Obama!!

    July 11, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  74. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Its sad that Jesse Jackson is so jealous of a young man who is doing well. His comments show his true self.

    Go home, Jesse, and please be quiet.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  75. Amarissa

    I guess Obama supporters cannot take any more of him and his rhetorics and speak out to others! Since Obama now adds sermons to his list of duties and steps in churches to preach and take over pastor's jobs, they are also now critizicing him. Remember Wright? He said "Obama is a politician..."
    Amarissa, Florida

    July 11, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  76. George

    Your question leads me to ask another question of you. Doesn't Rev. Jackson have to in some way be "relevant" in order to become "irrelevant"?

    July 11, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  77. Herb -Texas

    Yes, move along folks, nothing more to see.

    Jesse Jackson should get with the city councilman from Dallas and they can discuss their African-American holes.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  78. Alan Caudle

    Jack,, you put it very well. The guilt factor is probably a big part of it. Jeasousy may be an even bigger part. In addition I think Jackson sees himself as the most important black man in America (or the world) and he if afaird that Obama will replace him.
    Al Sharpton put it well when he pointed out that Obama is running to be the President of all Americans, not just black Americans.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  79. Nora Corpus Christi Texas

    I think we should all thank Jesse Jackson for showing us that Barack Obama is nothing like him. Obama wants to hold every person responsible for their own life and tells them to be held accountable for the direction their life has taken. I think Mr. Obama's speech on fathers day was wonderful. Jesse Jackson thinks Obama should still be blaming white america for the struggles of black people. Obama will be president for all America, not just black america. Perhaps Jesse Jackson thought otherwise. Maybe it is just sour grapes cause it is not the way he would of done it!!! Jesse Jackson is losing relevancy as we speak.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  80. B.E.Lahmon Jackson MS

    Yes he's very relevant to his own agenda which comes to me as no surprise ,Jessie Jackson, Jeremiah Wright along with Hillary and Bill Clinton all have the same problem their worst enemy is their own mouths ,these guys should think before they speak but that might be asking a bit too much of them, but it's still a free country let them talk all they want I just wouldn't listen to a damm thing that either of them have to say

    July 11, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  81. Devin


    First, I think you should be a little more careful about the question you pose here. Apparently Jesse really, really doesn't like being talked down to.

    If not relevant I at least find him more interesting now in that he still wants a black man elected president but now wants him castrated first.

    Dallas Texas

    July 11, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  82. Ed

    A better word to use would be "insignificant"!

    Ed Woodbridge,Va.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  83. Ryan, Champaign IL

    Yes, as has Fox "News".

    July 11, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  84. Hassan - NY

    How soon they forget! This is the same man who risked his own life, during the civil rights era, to fight for the rights of so many. This is a great man who made a mistake, for which he apologized; so he deserves our profound respect. But the real question should be: Would Barack Obama be relevant if Jesse Jackson wasn’t?

    July 11, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  85. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    He made himself relevant, but not in a way he'd like. Fox "News" was so eager to show the negative remarks they "caught" Jackson making about Obama that they're unwittingly helping Obama every time they replay this story.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  86. leevaughn brown

    Hey Jack
    I am an African American, and I never liked the man. He has finally shown his true colors for all to see. I always thought he was a hypocrite. I never wanted him as president and never thought of him as a leader. Finally I hope that he will retire from public life and go home to take care of his illegitimate child. Jackson is old news and one of the biggest sellouts I have seen come down the pike in a long while.
    Cinti, Ohio

    July 11, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  87. Rod from Chicago

    The news media has report on every gaffe or any questionable conduct by Barack Obama and his surrogates as far back as the democratic primary. They have been reported on for weeks, when Hillary Clinton and now John McCain are giving a pass. It is beginning to look quite fishy by this type of reporting. The Huffington Post backs up my claim.

    “During this past week: McCain called the most important entitlement program in the U.S. a disgrace, his top economic adviser called the American people whiners, McCain released an economic plan that no one thought was serious, he flip flopped on Iraq, joked about the deaths of Iranian citizens, and denied making comments that he clearly made - TWICE. All this and it is not even Friday! Yet watching and reading the mainstream press you would think McCain was having a pretty decent political week, I mean at least Jesse Jackson didn't say anything about him.”

    July 11, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  88. White (old) Jewish Chick in Germany

    Jack – let's forgive and forget. Rev. Jackson made a mistake. He seems to be angry, that's human. He is still an important figure for his time in U. S. American history and everyone should be thankful for his great efforts. Times have moved on positively. Senator Obama is a different man, and of a different time and generation in the development of U. S. history. Senator Obama represents all the "Peoples of he World". It's a new and smart generation, let's get back to restoring nobility to the White House.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  89. JT from TN

    Absolutely Jack, I mean come on, here's a guy who is one of the civil rights people who for years now havbe made comments such as this. It's time to be ignored or at least put away. Every election they get on TV and moan and complain that the nomines are racist, don't care for his race, and whatever else he can say about race. It's 2008, get over it already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 11, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  90. janet in oklahoma

    Jack the answer to this question can be summed up by one word YES.! It's just that he isn't aware of it yet.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  91. Mark from Kalamazoo

    He's as relevant as the media make him out to be. By the way, is it just coincidence that this happened on Fox News? You wouldn't think that they would leave a mike on like that on purpose, would you? Nooooo . . .

    July 11, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  92. anthony in New Hampshire

    Jesse has become more than irrelevant he is a disgrace to the cloth. I find him to be one of most racist people on TV. He needs to start looking at people without any regard to color. All people are different, tall, small, fat, thin, pink, green or blue,.The sea of humanity is diverse just like variety in in a garden..........

    July 11, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  93. Connie

    Jack, He should have said that he was just caught up in the moment , after all that is how O'Riely and all those fair and balanced people talk.

    Connie from Indiana

    July 11, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  94. Rob

    Jack–Old news. How about what people are gearing about Mc Cain dropping out on health issues. Now thats new's.. check it out

    July 11, 2008 at 3:18 pm |

    jesse jackson has been irrelevant the last several years just like al sharpton. the world is changing in spite of them. welcome to the 21st century!

    July 11, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  96. Karl in CA

    Jack, Yes, his comments were the final nail in his irrelevant, irreverent coffin. He and Al Sharpton have become the icons of the racially split America of the past and Obama is the future of America. All of America. I don't think MLK would agree with Jackson's latest comments either. He was the visionary that Jesse and Al can and will never be.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  97. Rochelle (Fayeteville, NC)

    To borrow a phrase from Reverand Jackson's 1988 campagin speech, charge it to his head and not his heart. I am quite sure that Jackson regrets his choice of words, but Senator Obama can weather any storm, including tropical depression Jesse.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  98. Betty - AL

    We don't need divisive folks in Washington or on TV.

    I say get all of them out of the limelight. Cut off their microphones, or kick them out of office – whichever is applicable.

    He and his kind need to retire and shut up.

    Remember "First Do No Harm".

    July 11, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  99. wesley rogers

    I am an african american man who feels that jackson has never been the leader of the african american comunity. as african americans i dont think we need a leader no more than european americans need a leader or native americans need a leader or mexican americans need a leader i think we all collectively need a leader and i hope that person will be barack obama. So your answer is no he is not relevant and in my view has never been.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  100. Dan, Maryland

    Irrelevant, no. The man has been a leader in the civil rights movement for years. Has he become ineffective, yes. He still speaks like it's the 60's and doesn't acknowledge things have changed for the better. Get the words right Jack!

    July 11, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  101. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Jesse has been irrelevant for many years. Its that simple Jack.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  102. mike, ohio

    Not irrelevant but, in the past. We Americans need to turn the chapter and keep heading in the direction we are heading. The less our nation sees color, gender or race the better off I think we will be as a nation. It’s whats on the inside of an individual that really counts. Barack’s got it right and he wants to take the country in that direction.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  103. Susan from Greenfield, Wi.

    Jessie is in a "mental recession" caused by the loss of all hope.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  104. Caycee

    No but he's become irresponsible. At one time he had an energy to be reckoned with; now he's become a stress to be dealt with.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  105. A Bob White

    Hays, Kansas
    Hi Jack,
    Nope; not at all irrevelant! Jesse Jackson, along with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Barack Obama, is still very relevant. And so are the directions they each advocate for our society.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  106. Tony from Torrington

    He may think he still has a shot at being the first black president, but Bill Clinton took that job. He is and was irrelevant, and very jealous of Obama. He's probably thinking, "What the heck did he do that I didn't do?' It's all about power, unfortunately, and not about what's best for the people.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  107. John

    Jack, just think how far we have come. Twenty years ago, Jesse Jackson would already be picketing your studio in protest of your commentary.

    Fort Collins, CO

    July 11, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  108. chryssa

    Pretty much. People tend to groan or say "ugh" when they hear his name these days.

    Boise, ID

    July 11, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  109. L.M.,Arizona

    I find it interesting that Mr. Jackson was on Fox news for years they tried to get him to come on their shows. I think his revelancy ended when he started to accept their invititations because of his irrevelancy.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  110. Norman, Queens

    I'm 70 years old. In a Brooklyn parochial school I was taught by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy. My integrated graduating class of 60 was 50% black, today 3 are doctors, 2 are judges, a retired Air Force Captain, the rest of us are civil servants of various types, employees and entrepreneurs, only 3 went to jail. On the classroom front wall under the clock a sign read "self-reliance" When I went home my mother told me: "be a man and take responsibilty for your actions". I'm satisfied with the man I am today.

    Jessie does the opposite, by badgering our country's more successful citizens. He excuses crime and bad conduct of young blacks, by beating a long dead horse of racism, job discrimination police brutality, and too many blacks in prisons. Jessie can correct this by taking collecting money for belts and suspenders.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  111. Thomas, Yo.town, OH

    Whether Jackson is reverent or irrelevant, he has just shown he's a typical human being, crossing that line of a respected leader and now has joined the herds of those he's defamed for doing such as he did. He'd should stop where he's at now and ride the glory days of yesteryear as his time and purpose have come to past.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  112. Tara

    No Jack what has become irrelevant is the news media. I hope we do not have to see the Jesse jackson tapes over and over again for the next 2 months. The problem is that real journalism and journalists have been replaced with people that act like their interns with the National Inquirer. Lets talk about the issues please. This week John McCains top economic advisor basically said "let them eat cake" and we are still after almost a week talking about Jesse jackson and Obama's nutts.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  113. Trevor

    "Jackson apologized, saying he meant there are other important issues to address in the black community – like unemployment and the number of blacks in prison."

    If that is what he meant to say why didn't he say it? From my point-of-view he ceased to be relevant a long time ago but the media thought he was. He will remain relevant as long as the media keeps him relevant

    July 11, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  114. Robin a Blue Tacoma WA.

    Hi Jack The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King left some pretty big shoes to fill and personally I don't think Rev jackson has ever been that effective, now that I got that out of the way what I really feel is going on here is that the green eyed monster is rearing it's ugly head. As an African American I have idolized Dr King and I still get goose bumps when I here his speeches. Jesse Jackson has never moved me in such a way,but sometimes listening to Obama he moves me in such a way. I think Rev Jackson is a little envious.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  115. Dan Rose

    No. A lame duck president can still daunt our civil liberties, and even wage war on Iran. Mr. Jackson was an integral part of a national hero's inner circle. Just because Fox News chooses to take advantage of something that wasn't intended to be heard by many, doesn't render him irrelevant, anymore than Mr. Jackson's unfortunate comments could render Barack Obama a eunuch.
    -Dan in New Orleans

    July 11, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  116. Major Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Irrevelant is a harsh word......I would say ignorant and because of his abundacne of ignorance, he is so egar to share it.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  117. Conoscenzo

    Well, his comment was crude...but maybe he was right. I mean Obama has the attitude "its right because I say its right"...not based on any objective truth. Look at some of his speeches and the way he moves around on the issues. To him what is right is what he thinks is right at the moment. I fear he will self-destruct soon.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  118. Raoul, New Orleans, La.

    Jesse Jackson has been irrelevant since the last time he ran for president. He talks a good game, yet he is weak on delivery. I cannot remember when his endorsement ever garnered any evidence of it's perceived worth. Perhaps if he had cut something from himself a long time ago thing would be different. Then it wouldn't be Jesse Jackson – who knows the taste of his foot as well as any national figure.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  119. RLD

    Barack was speaking about guys making babies out of wedlock and I guess it struck a nerve with Rev Jackson.I don't know if irrelevant is the correct term but he and Rev Al need to know that there is a new way of thinking going on.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  120. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    It seems very strange that on one hand he was praising Obama, but secretly, it is shown that he really does not particularly care for him. Years ago, we never would have heard off-side comments. This is reality TV.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  121. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    Jackson never had the magic like Dr. King or Malcom X. He has been riding on everyone else's ticket for years and he knows it. The media isn't helping by putting his comments on the air instead of actual serious information about the candidates.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  122. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    I think he's been irrelevant ever since his seconds failed presidential bid, Jack.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  123. Willow, Sheldon Iowa

    The older generation is to be respected for all that they did, but they never stopped demonstrating and fighting for things. They still see that dividing line, that back of the bus, etc. The younger generations of all races can see our similarities. there may still be some problems with racism, but generally, most people just don't care anymore. Its a non issue to a lot of people.

    B. Obama, coming from a home with an absent father, probably would have held this speech in a white Church. He knows how it feels to grow up without a Father around. So I am betting it was more personal than political. He used words like "deserting, abandoning", and I think Jesse Jackson just wanted to get into the limelight one more time. Jackson's son, however, is horrified.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  124. Keith R., from Tucson, AZ

    He's a media hog. Take the media away and the problem will be solved.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  125. Holly

    Jesse Jackson has very little relevance regarding any political matter anymore. I can't believe he still deems himself 'reverend' after all his hypocritical acts. Irrelevant? Absolutely.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  126. Frantz from Atlanta

    As an African American man, MLK was the last real leader in the African American community. Ever since then we've had nothing but a bunch of substitute teachers including Jesse Jackson.

    Finally we have a real leader in Sen. Obama who is perfect for this generation. He is promoting self-responsibility and accountability without completely abandoning the government’s true role in with regards to social issues. Sen. Obama has offers the right approach and the right balance.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  127. Go Obama!


    Jesse is not irrelevant; if it was not for Jesse Jackson and the civil right solders there would be no Obama. What Jesse Jackson is ... is out of touch with technology; and got busted for making that comment. He should have been more careful that is it! What happen is he got caught saying out loud what some African Americans may feel (African Americans feelings varies such as any race) but would have never stated their feelings in public as it may cause backlash to Obama or cause unintended strife among African American supporters... it did not. Jesse needs to chill and as he did admit his bad and keep it moving ... we appreciate him for everything he has done in support of the African American ... well I do for sure.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  128. John W

    Black people have been saying Jesse Jackson is irrelevant – for years.

    The media (because everyone loves divisiveness) is the only group that pays attention to him now.

    July 11, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  129. Frank Yancey

    Does intense negotiation ring a familiar note?

    Peace & LOVE


    July 11, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  130. James W. Blevins

    We should follow the IAEA procedures with regard to Iran and otherwise butt our noses out of their business. If we had not invaded Iraq and had kept out of their internal affairs, oil would be about $40 per barrel. Is it any coincidence that a president whose personal wealth is tied to oil insists on attacking oil producing countries.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    July 11, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  131. Mark

    Certainly not. He's as irrelevant as JFK, MLK, or Shirley Chisholm. All of whom had their short comings, but helped in no small way to push this country ( Kicking and screaming) in a positive direction.

    It is upon these shoulders that Sen. Obama and all Americans stand to continue our progress forward on a personal, national and world stage.

    “I’m here because somebody marched. I’m here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants.”

    — Barack Obama, 2007 Selma Voting Rights March Commemoration

    July 11, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  132. ExPostFacto

    If Jesse was irrelevant, then he wouldn't have been on Fox and Friends, Fox would not have risked FCC violations by recording portions of off the record comments and airing them, and every media outlet would not have run what Jesse said as front page news.

    July 11, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  133. Mykeia, New York, NY

    I don't neccessary believe he is irrelevant, but I don't agree with his statement in reference to Obama putting down African-Americans, and I did find that he was doing the very same thing he argued Obama for doing.Talk bout the pot calling the kettle...

    July 11, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  134. Mark - Orlando Florida

    If you ask me this is not a coincidence that Iran has started missile testing just as the US economy is in crisis with oil prices paying a major part in the problem. I believe the rising oil prices are the terror attack no one saw coming or even realizes is happening. We are all looking for bombs and chemicals but this economic attach is hurting us just as bad. Now we also find ourselves handcuffed to act against other terrorist countries like Iran. Wasn’t putting the US economy in chaos one of the reasons Ben Laden gave for hitting the World Trade Center. Has he somehow accomplished the same goal without firing a shoot?

    July 11, 2008 at 5:30 pm |